I got this on Google+. I think both pics represent excellent career advises, so I want to share it with you.
The ND University System was featured in a Wall Street Journal article. Read it here:
Dear students, colleagues, friends and music community in general: I can confirm that, after an extensive and dedicated search, and after having interviewed in person three outstanding (I want to underscore that: all of them were outstanding!) candidates, the Burgum Endowed Chair Search Committee has offered the position to Ms. Simona Barbu, Memphis-based Romanian cellist, and doctoral candidate at the University of Memphis under the guidance of Mr. Leonardo Altino. Ms. Barbu has accepted and signed the contract with UND, so it is now official. More updates soon!
On April 10, the UND Student String Quartet had its brilliant debut, at the Hopper-Danley Memorial Chapel, with two fundamental Russian works for string quartet: Alexander Glazunov's Five Novellettes Op. 15, and the beloved Alexander Borodin's Second String Quartet in D. We will be posting audio fragments soon. Click here to see some photos of the evening (and we are expecting more!)
I thought I could let it go. I was ready to! But not - it had to get in my way! Why? Why?
You see, as I was waiting for classroom 248 to clear out, I saw a poster with the pictures of the music theory teams into which the freshman theory class is divided. They pick their own names, so creativity is in order. I particularly remember, from this and previous years, the names "B#s" and the "Man-eating Llamas." Now, a shocking wave went through my spine when I saw the principal cello (Austin) and the assistant principal cello (Landon) of the orchestra portrayed as members of... "The Communist OCTOPI." There you go! Again! The cephalopods (or "cephalopodes"???) after me, with their changing, unpredictable spelling! Resolved to put an end to this question, once and forever, I resorted to the ultimate source of universal wisdom, the one from which countless academic papers where drawn, or plainly plagiarized, the one encyclopedia that is so democratic that even refutation of its contents needs to be voted favorably for: of course, I am speaking of "Wikipedia" :-) Here is what I found about the octopuses/octopi/octopodes:
The term octopus, pronounced /ˈɒktəpʊs/, is from Greek ὀκτάπους (oktapous), "eight-footed", with plural forms: octopuses /ˈɒktəpʊsɪz/, octopi /ˈɒktəpaɪ/, or octopodes /ɒkˈtɒpədiːz/. Currently, octopuses is the most common form in both the US and the UK; octopodes is rare, and octopi is often objectionable.
The plural form octopi is often described as a hypercorrection. The Oxford English Dictionary (2008 Draft Revision)lists octopuses, octopi and octopodes (in that order); it labels octopodes "rare", although the correct Greek plural form, and notes that octopi derives from the "apprehension" that octōpūs is a second declension Latin noun, though it is not. It is a Latinization of Greek third-declension masculine oktṓpous (ὀκτώπους, 'eight-foot'), plural oktṓpodes (ὀκτώποδες). If the word were native to Latin, it would be octōpēs, plural octōpedes, after the pattern of pēs ('foot'), plural pedēs, analogous to "centipede". The actual Latin word for octopus and other similar species is polypus, from Greek polýpous (πολύπους, 'many-foot'); usually the inaccurate plural polypī is used instead of polypodēs.
In modern Greek, the word is khtapódi (χταπόδι), plural khtapódia (χταπόδια), from Medieval oktapódion (ὀκταπόδιον), equivalent to Classical oktápous (ὀκτάπους), variant of oktṓpous.
Chambers 21st Century Dictionary and the Compact Oxford Dictionary list only octopuses, although the latter notes that octopodes is "still occasionally used"; the British National Corpus has 29 instances of octopuses, 11 of octopi and 4 of octopodes. Merriam-Webster 11th Collegiate Dictionary lists octopuses and octopi, in that order; Webster's New World College Dictionary lists octopuses, octopi and octopodes (in that order).
Fowler's Modern English Usage states that "the only acceptable plural in English is octopuses," and that octopi is misconceived and octopodes pedantic.
The term octopod (plural octopods or octopodes) is taken from the taxonomic order Octopoda but has no classical equivalent. The collective form octopus is usually reserved for animals consumed for food.
So, bottom line:
If you feel really all-American, super-mainstream, then say "the most common form" in use in the US and UK, "octopuses," and leave it at that.
If you are prone to rare, pedantic, yet still occasionally used expression, say "octopodes" (a Mr. Portokalos-style Greek accent is a plus.)
If you'd rather stick to often objectionable, misconceived hypercorrections (picture yourself a provincial middle school teacher, the only person in his 235-person village to have ever seen an elevator, a plane and the see, and thus considering him/herself the final authority in matters of cosmology and ancient languages), then please, say "octopi" really loud and clear (and mind your vowels, lady!)
Who would have thought that a single word could say so much about a person? ;-)
Have a great day, y'all!
Read about our Symphonic Concert:
The Valentine's Concert is now over. Uf-da! I didn't think it would take so much work in terms of organization, yet it did. I believe we delivered a very good show, indeed: Dr. Gaul offered a very beautiful rendition of part of Brahms F minor viola/clarinet sonata; the Dvorak Terzetto had a very cozy feeling to it (and we got most of the sixteenths lined up!), the reunion with Marta Lledo in Ravel's Tzigane (last time we played that piece in 1991! So that you, youngsters, figure it out: at that time there was no internet, and the fax was quite a novelty!), Marta also brillantly performed two tangos for solo piano arranged by me, from her recent CD "Twelve Tangos," and an etude by Rachmaninov; the UND Studente String Quartet dazzled everybody with Borodin's "Nocturne" and finally the UND Chamber Orchestra did very well in Tchaikovsky's Waltz from his String Serenade.
We had our doubts about the viability of a concert in Valentine's day, yet the concert was well attended (partly, of course, due to the publicity support from the Buffalo Commons Ch. Music Society and the Grand Forks Herald, as well as the effort of the dedicated members of "Friends of Strings at UND.") I wonder if, in some way or another, we should continue this tradition.
Thank you to all of you who attended, played and in any way
Dear students, friends, and colleagues:
I am back in Grand Forks, after another edition of the Pocos de Caldas Festival, directed by Prof. Jean Reis. Here's the website: www.festivalmusicanasmontanhas.com.br
This year the string and piano faculty enjoyed the valuable additions of Dr. Carmelo de los Santos (Violin, New Mexico State U.), Dr. Viktor Uzur (Cello, Weber State U.), Dr. Marcos Machado (Double Bass, U. of Southern Mississippi) and Prof. Guigla Katsarava (Piano, Ecole Normal de Paris, France.)
On a personal level, I am particularly pleased by the rising of the students level's baseline throughout the years (I startet teaching at Pocos in 2004.) Here is the list of the works performed in the 45+ lessons I thought this year (asterisks near a composition or movement mean that more than one student played that work):
- Sonata in A major for violin and basso continuo
J. S. Bach
- Concerto in A minor
- Partita no. 2 - Giga
- Partita no. 3 - Prelude
G. B. Viotti
- Concerto no. 22 *
- Concerto in G major, I mov.
W. A. Mozart
- 3rd. Concerto, I mov. * *
- 4th. Concerto, I mov.
- 5th. Concerto, I mov. *
L. v. Beethoven
- Sonata no. 5 "Spring" for violin and piano
J. H. Fiocco
- Etude no. 1
- Caprice no. 14
- Concerto in E minor op. 64, I mov. *
- Concerto no. 1 in G minor, I mov. *
- Polonaise Brillante no. 2 in A major
- Sicilienne and Rigaudon
- Praeludim und Allegro
- Sinfonie Spagnole, I and V mov.
- Sonata for violin and piano, II mov.
- Sonata no. 4 op. 27 for solo violin, I mov.
- Concerto, I mov.
- Concerto in D minor, I and II mov.
Each year has a little surprise. I remember one year teaching as many as 5 students with Haydn G major concerto, to the point that I arranged the lesson schedule to have them come in the same day. Kreisler's "Praeludim und Allegro" seems to permeate the festival with its presence since the begining - at least, I don't recall a single edition of the festival at which at least ONE students didn't play it; some years these students were as many as 5 or 6. I am pleased with the shift toward late 19th - early 20th century composers, but a little worried about the notorious decrease in solo Bach performances - are studio teachers emphasizing that enough in Brazil? I wonder if this is merely a local tendency or a spreading phenomenon.
Be as it may, I am happy to be back home and ready to tackle yet another semester at UND!
Yesterday's concert (see here for more info) was a milestone for me - although I have been writing music for the last 30 years or so, and formally for the last 24, I had never premiered an original composition by myself, and the only one I remember being played in a concert was a violin duo by some students in a festival. I can say I am reasonably satisfied with the result, considering how challenging the piece could be for somebody not familiar with the New Tango rhythmic idioms.
I have to say that, overall, I wish we could have brought more energy on stage, the kind we had last concert. I think we took some losses due to my absence for a week, plus the Veterans Day holiday, plus the coming Thanksgiving holiday (which took a toll on our attendance) and the relatively fresh winter weather (not like anybody in this state should be scared about it!)
Still, objectively speaking, the orchestra is making steady progress, and we are being able to aim at solid artistic goals, instead of merely being content with reaching the double bar at the end of the score. I am looking forward to our visit to the Indian reservation in Belcourt, on Tuesday. More about it soon!